Posted: 12:18 p.m. Thursday, May 30, 2013
By Matthew Fairburn
San Jose State didn't have much competition when recruiting quarterback David Fales. Fales started his collegiate career as Colin Kaepernick's backup at Nevada before transferring to play two season of junior college ball. That's when San Jose State swooped in to land Fales, and it immediately paid dividends for the program.
In his first season with the Spartans, Fales threw for over 4,000 yards and completed more than 70-percent of his passes. He went from buried on Nevada's depth chart to a rising NFL Draft prospect who may be the best senior at his position.
Fales has a few areas of his game that need ironing out, but the tools are all there for him to be a first round pick with another strong season.
Fales has a solid build for the quarterback position. He stands 6-feet-3-inches tall and has enough bulk at 220 pounds to handle the punishment in the pocket. Three traits that stand out in Fales' game are his quick release, his accuracy and his anticipation. Fales' mechanics are sound and he is able to get the ball out quickly from different arm angles. What helps Fales in this area is how well he diagnoses what the defense is doing before the snap. He's always getting the ball out in a hurry and has no trouble finding the open receivers. His ability to maintain the timing of the offense and keep the offense in rhythm cannot be overstated.
Throughout the 2012 season, Fales showed enough toughness and maneuverability to hang in the pocket and make tough throws under pressure. He's willing to hang in and wait for his receivers to come open. While he's not the biggest guy, Fales doesn't mind taking a lick to create a play in the passing game. In addition, he keeps his eyes down field in the face of pressure. While Fales is fearless in the face of pressure, he may be even more fearless when it comes to delivering the ball down the field. There is no throw that Fales doesn't think he can make.
The biggest concern with Fales that has been harped on a bit is his deep ball. While he's accurate on the short and intermediate routes, his ball placement becomes inconsistent at best. He struggles to drive the ball down field, putting too much air under his long passes. His velocity also isn't great in the intermediate and deep area of the field. Fales doesn't transfer weight well from his back leg to hit front leg and occasionally throws off his back foot as well. The deep ball issue isn't related to his arm strength, but rather mechanics in his lower half. If he sorts that out, he could start driving the ball with more zip.
Another problem area for Fales is his decision making to the deep part of the field. Considering the lack of success he has when throwing deep, he makes some risky throws down the field. He could stand to improve his decision making in this area of his game.
Fales will be in the running to be the first senior quarterback off the board next April, but he has his work cut out for him. While he possesses a strong understanding of the game and the toughness to excel in the NFL, he needs to prove that he can drive the ball down field and into tight windows to be a high first round pick. He doesn't play a strong schedule with San Jose State being in the WAC, so every mistake will be magnified by those trying to nitpick his game. Fales has to dominate again in 2013 to be the first senior quarterback taken next April.